Russell S. Buhite

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With 32 years of experience as a trial attorney, Russell Buhite is a nationally-recognized defense counsel representing life, health and disability insurance companies and benefit plans in litigation and rendering of client advice on both ERISA and non-ERISA matters pending in federal and state courts across the country.  He is a member of the life, health, and disability committee of Defense Research Institute (DRI) as well as a former national chair of the American Bar Association TIPS section’s Health and Disability Insurance Committee and of the Healthcare Reform Task Force.  He has published extensively in this area of law as a co-author on all editions of the ABA’s ERISA Survey of the Federal Circuits as well as for DRI’s “For the Defense” magazine, and other national publications, and has spoken widely on ERISA litigation issues.  He is a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, composed of recognized leaders in the defense legal community worldwide, who have achieved professional distinction, following extensive client and peer review.

An AV-Preeminent-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, he has also been named in Best Lawyers in America – Litigation-ERISA (2011-Present), and selected as Lawyer of the Year for Seattle in this category for 2019.  He is admitted to practice by the state bars of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Florida, and Missouri and in a number of federal district courts and courts of appeal.

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Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute, Life, Health and Disability Insurance Committee (1992 – Present)
  • SHRM
  • King County Bar Association
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • AIDA (Association Internationale de droit Assurances)


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